Niagara Falls is a world-famous destination with a variety of sights to see, including the Three Sisters Islands. These small islands are located just off the southern shoreline of Goat Island in Niagara Falls, New York. They are named after the daughters of General Parkhurst Whitney, who was a prominent early settler in the area and the founder of the Cataract House Hotel near the upper rapids.

Before European settlers arrived in North America, Iroquois shamans made sacrifices of food and gifts on the islands and communed with He-No, the spirit who dwells in the mist-enshrouded cave at the base of the falls. Modern-day psychics believe anyone can hear the voices of the spirits if they listen carefully while visiting the Three Sisters Islands.

The islands offer a variety of microhabitats and each has its own unique floristic character. They were once known as the Moss Islands due to the rock surfaces being covered in moss in 1843. In the spring of 1816, General Whitney and his three daughters became the first to visit the third island, which was the furthest, by crossing on the ice due to an ice jam upstream of the Falls. General Whitney was so proud of his daughters’ feat that he asked the owners of the islands, Peter and Augustus Porter, to rename them after his three daughters and his infant son.

Today, the Three Sisters Islands have been renamed. The first island closest to Goat Island is called Asenath, the second island is called Angeline, and the third island is called Celinda Eliza. The fourth, known as Little Brother Island, is named Solon.

The islands can be accessed from Goat Island via three historic walking bridges that offer unique views of the upper rapids as the water races toward the Falls. The islands are connected by bridges, allowing visitors to walk to all three and admire the grand views of the raging rapids in the Niagara River right before its descent over the Horseshoe Falls.

Visiting the Three Sisters Islands is free, as is Niagara Falls State Park. Visitors can access the islands via a reconstructed broad path that is mostly accessible, except for the furthest point on the third island. A stone footbridge marks the entrance to the islands, and visitors will first encounter a tranquil stream and a tiny waterfall as they cross the first bridge.

As visitors continue on the path, they will cross over three small channels of the Niagara River, reminding them of the incredible power of the falls. An engaging perspective of Niagara Falls can be had as visitors cross the final bridge to the outermost island, providing a perfect photo opportunity of the Niagara River tumbling down the last few thousand feet before going over the falls.

Walking down the stairs on the islands, visitors will notice several large boulders on the river bank just beyond the guard rails. Before the path was reconstructed, tourists could walk right up to the river and rub their hands on the stones for good luck. One boulder at the tip of the Three Sisters Islands has been touched by thousands if not millions of people since people began to visit Niagara Falls hundreds of years ago. Although this rock is now out of reach, it is fun to imagine how many people have stood at the brink of the river and rubbed it for good luck.

The Three Sisters Islands offer a unique experience in Niagara Falls, New York, providing visitors with a chance to admire the beauty of the raging rapids before they descend over the Horseshoe Falls. The islands offer an interesting history and are a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Niagara Falls.